Thank you Decoy and Tillamook for sponsoring this post. Find your perfect pairing this holiday season with Decoy and Tillamook!

We absolutely love hosting our friends and family – and we especially love hosting wine & cheese night! Personally, I  feel like its two things almost everyone enjoys and it’s a lot less intimidating than cooking a three course meal. It’s also things you can throw together quickly- in the same day with just one or two grocery runs in the same day! Today I’m sharing some tips on curating the perfect cheese board, and hosting a cheese & wine party that will be memorable!

Choosing the Cheese & Wine:

Today’s post I’m simply using Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Sharp Cheddar Sliced Cheese & Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Medium Cheddar Sliced cheese. Tillamook makes a delicious variety of cheeses but I  love that the slices were thick and easy to arrange on a cheeseboard! Plus, with each bite you can really taste the quality ingredients and the sharpness of the cheddar pairs so well with wine! As for the wine, I’m a sucker for reds and I’m serving Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon for those who like a full bodied wine & also Decoy Pinot Noir for those who want something a little lighter! These Decoy wines are delicious and the perfect price point makes them an ideal gift if you’re attending any holiday parties this year! Tillamook & Decoy are an easy way to elevate any occasion- especially a wine & cheese night!

What to Put on Your Cheeseboard Besides Cheese:

  • Fruits. I    like to think of this in terms of texture, taste, and color! Having a mix of tart & sweet fruits provides a nice balance to cheese & wine. Berries, sliced apples, halved pomegranates, cut up figs all make for festive and delicious pairings!
  • Vegetables. Try to be a little outside the box with this instead of the usual carrot and celery sticks! Taking some asparagus, whole peppers, and cauliflower and just charring them slightly on a griddle with some olive oil packs a lot of flavor and adds great color to your board too! Pickled vegetables like little cornichons or olives are also incredible paired with cheese and wine and add some great acidity to a cheeseboard.
  • Nuts. These are such an incredible way to add more flavor to your board. Honey roasted cashews, spicy peanuts, candied pecans- all of these are delicious with wine and or cheese alone!
  • Jams. There is nothing more I    love than spreading a little cracker with some cheese, jam, and a nut on top! Again, get creative and instead of the usual apricot jam, try some truffle honey, or a spicy mango chutney!
  • Garnishes. Some things really are just there for visuals but that doesnt mean theyre not vital to a great cheeseboard! A few sprigs of rosemary or mint leaves makes everything just a look a tad bit more fresh & appetizing!
  • Crackers & Breads. I love having a variety of these on deck. Everything from truffle potato chips to sliced baguette and the staple water crackers. Arrange them in little baskets, small vases, bowls and let everyone make their own perfect bite.
  • Meats. You can turn a cheese board into a charcuterie board with the addition of prosciutto, hard salamis or candied bacon (yes this is a thing and its delicious!). Just pile it up, spread it out and let guests pick at it as they please!

Tips on Serving Wine:

This might seem simple but make sure you have the necessary “wine tools” before your party. Nothing is more aggravating than not being able to find the wine opener as your guests arrive! Check and be sure your wine glasses are sparkling clean, you’ve got coasters (wine rings suck), and you’ve chilled the whites a head of time!

Setting Up:

I  like to take out all of my serveware, plates and cheeseboards the day before to make things a little easier. If I’ve got the time  I  love making a few simple flower arrangements and lighting come candles for ambience! Mismatched appetizer plates, silverware, and a few napkins make for easy and funky way to add some pizzazz to the table as well so don’t be too caught up if you don’t have 10 matching plates for your guests- wing it!